Is your dealership ready for the real-time shopper? With competition heating up in the auto industry, car dealerships need to shift mobile marketing into overdrive to enable a new, highly effective target and real-time approach to customers. As shoppers shift freely between devices, your dealership’s online presence must adapt.

Major online vehicle shopping sites are seeing the effects of the change firsthand. According to DealerRefresh, almost 50% of the 30 million visits Cars.com experienced in February came from a tablet or smartphone, which indicates that many car shoppers are more comfortable researching and shopping for their next vehicle on mobile devices.

A recent study by Placed Inc., for Cars.com, found that 63% of car shoppers are using smart-phones to conduct research and help make buying decisions at dealerships. The study also found that 25% are using only a smartphone to do research before heading in to a dealership—that means a full quarter of potential customers may only see your dealership’s website on their smartphone before deciding whether to come in or move on to the next lot.

The mobile device used to shop or research vary depending on what consumers are doing at the time. In the automotive sector, smart phones tend to be used for texting or calling, but are also used on car lots to check details on a specific model, access reviews or compare prices with other dealerships. On the other hand, tablets, laptops and PCs are usually used for more detailed research away from a dealership, often while sitting at work or home.

Here’s what it comes down to. If you don’t get on top of your mobile marketing game, you are missing out on a good chunk of potential customers. Having a consistent dealership presence across all digital platforms is the key to your success with consumers today. With one-third of car shoppers using more than one device while researching a vehicle, presenting your dealership across various platforms might be the difference between a sale and a missed opportunity.

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